Gender Through Media: Images of Contemporary Masculinity in Two Pakistani Movies


  • Sara Noor Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
  • Shaheena Bhatt Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
  • Shazia Rose Kiran Nathaniel National University of Modern Languages, Rawalpindi/Islamabad, Pakistan



Contemporary Masculinity, Hegemonic, Inclusive, Hybrid, Queer


Gender and its media representations inform us about a specific culture. This research paper is an in-depth qualitative study of the representations of contemporary masculinity and queerness in the Pakistani media and popular culture. The paper analyzes two Pakistani movies: Sarmad Khoosat’s Zindagi Tamasha (Circus of Life) (2019) and Saim Sadiq’s Joyland (2022). The aim of the study is to explore the concept of masculinity in the Pakistani society and its media representations in popular culture and cinema. Masculinity is interlinked with physical appearance, social norms and religious values in the Pakistani society, whereas queer behaviour is generally condemned because of cultural stereotypes and religious injunctions. The study analyzes the impact of social customs and stereotypes on the perception of masculinity in the male characters with special focus on the queer inclinations manifested in their behaviour. The analysis of the two movies is conducted through contemporary masculinity theories to identify current manifestations of masculinity in the Pakistani society through the media representations. The findings of the research indicate that contemporary masculinities in the Pakistani society and media depict a wide range of variation from hegemonic masculinity to hybrid masculinity, inclusive masculinity and queer masculinity.

Author Biography

Sara Noor, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan